Shout out to WaitingToShrug and and Hot-MetalHead for this week’s WATN? suggestion!
THEN: As Shawn Hunter, Cory Matthews’ BFF on Boy Meets World, Rider Strong was probably the first bad-boy crush for many of us. He was popular, loved the girls (one of the languages Shawn claimed he was “conversational” in was “womanese”), caused a bit of trouble at John Adams High (he claimed to have heard a strange buzzing sound whenever adults spoke) and knew how to rock a leather jacket. Before he moved in with student-fave Mr. Turner, we learn Shawn hasn’t had the ideal family life Corey was accustomed to, growing up in a trailer park and abandoned by his mother and father. As if that wasn’t enough family drama, by the time the show ends, Shawn’s father dies and the woman he knew to be his birth mother writes him a letter to let him know she raised him but didn’t give birth to him. Viewers also got to see the sometimes tumultuous relationship Shawn and his half-brother (played by Matthew Lawrence) had. The two brothers eventually patch up their relationship and become roommates with Cory’s older brother, Eric. By the end of the series, we see how stong the relationship is between Cory and Shawn as they make a major milestone in life together.
So whatever happened to Rider Strong?
NOW: Vanity Fair beat us to the punch and recently caught up with Rider (and as we learn in the VF article, yes, that’s his real name). But, if you don’t feel like reading the article, here’s what he’s been up to since BMW ended in 2000.
Shortly after the hit show stopped filming, Rider enrolled in college and graduated from Columbia (with honors!) with an English degree. If getting an Ivy League degree wasn’t enough, Rider earned his Master’s of Fine Arts two years ago, graduating from Vermont’s Bennington College. While he was studying hard in the classroom, his career took a backseat. Once the degree was in hand though, Rider came back to acting, landing a role on Pepper Dennis, which didn’t make the move when the WB network turned into the CW. Calling acting “unfulfilling lately,” Rider tried doing some behind-the-scenes stuff, and luckily for him, it’s worked out. He and big brother, Shiloh, were the writers and directors of Irish Twins, a movie about the differences of two brothers, which premiered at the TriBeCa Film Festival and won a few awards at other festivals. Collaborating with his brother, Rider also was the brain behind “It Could Happen To You,” a TV ad which premiered during the 2008 election in support of now-President Obama.
Smart, handsome and politically aware, it seems like Rider Strong is more like Cory Matthews’ character than his own!
Who do you want us to find for next week’s “Where Are They Now Wednesday,” Lovelies?